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I've been cutting wine bottles into drinking glasses as gifts for friends and am wondering if they need to be taken to the mikveh as they now could be considered "new" containers.

Does a wine bottle cut into a drinking glass need to be toveled?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rhq3khvvxc0q5of/20131226_205447.jpg

  • Are you Jewish? New containers only need to go to the Mikva if bought from a non-Jew. – Double AA Aug 15 '14 at 3:34
  • Yes, I am a Shomer Shabbos. – verbatim Aug 15 '14 at 3:35
  • @DoubleAA If it's not new vessels, they may need Mikva. – Shmuel Brin Aug 15 '14 at 4:40
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    @ShmuelBrin Ah. Here though they are being physically altered to be finished by a Jew. Cutting the shape should be no worse than, say, glazing pottery (for those who tovel glazed pottery). – Double AA Aug 15 '14 at 4:44
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    There's a teshuvah in Igros Moshe YD3 which says that you don't need to tovel any container which comes with food if it's normally thrown out after the food is consumed. His example is whiskey bottles. His proof is from the third Mishnah in maaser sheni. Take a look. According to that reb Moshe (which a Rov told me is commonly relied upon) you certainly do not need to tovel the glasses--even if you did not cut them at all you wouldn't have to.... – Ish Ploni ViKohen Sep 14 '14 at 21:10
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Assuming that a reusable glass bottle would need tevila if you choose to keep it for long term use, which may or not be true, but lets start with that assumption.

In order to change a nonjewish made keli into a jewish made keli in order to nullify the need for tevila, a two step process is necessary according to the Shach in Yoreh Deah siman 120 siff kattan 21 & Pischei Tshuva there s.k. 1.

Step 1. The kli must be made unusable from its original state. Such as making a hole in it where it can no longer hold a reviis (around 3.5 onces).

Step 2. A Jew now makes it usable. Such as plugging the hole.

I am not sure how exactly you make your glasses, i.e. do you keep the bottom part? The neck part? Do you then melt or glue them together? If you feel that the above requirements are satisfied, than enjoy your new tevila-less glasses.

One more side point is I have seen in the name of Rav Elyashev that the work done to alter the keli must qualify as maaseh uman, skilled labor, not something the average person would normally do. It seems your case fills this requirement.

Edit. This is all going with the assumption that a regular wine bottle as is would need tevila for future use. There is a tshuva in the Igros Moshe (as mentioned by @Ish Plony in the comments) in Yoreh De'ah 2 #137 in the second to last subject where he says a kli com a food item can be batul to the food if it is not a fancy kli. It would then not need tevila for reuse, even left as is. He does not discuss altering it. This should cover all wine bottles and most whisk bottles as well.

  • I just cut the top off. Here is a set of glasses I made from the the Kedem Asti bottles. Looks like Depression Era glass. dropbox.com/sh/hmn8yyay03v31d3/AACc6HlltteciQh8DC9GGq5La – verbatim Sep 16 '14 at 7:27
  • @verbatim how do you smooth the rough glass? Regular sandpaper? – user6591 Sep 16 '14 at 9:50
  • Yes, regular sand paper, but finer and finer grits. I start with a rough grit maybe 60; then 120; then 240; then 600. I even have a 2400 grit. Super smooth. – verbatim Sep 17 '14 at 14:41
  • The best answer is mentioned in the comments by @Ish Ploni Vikohen that Reb Moshe Feinstein allows you to use the bottle even without changing it. The one caveat would be an expensive type of bottle that is not 'battul' to the food inside. Not very usual. I was actually going to answer that (& still might if he doesn't) but I got distracted on this other route. – user6591 Sep 18 '14 at 0:38
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If you are the sort of person who destroys cans and bottle caps when you open them on shabbos, you hold that creating them is creating a vessel and this wine bottle cup will be a vessel that you created and doesn't need dipping. If you don't have this practice, I don't have a proof for you.

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    Do you have a source for the equivalency of becoming a keli WRT t'vila and becoming a keli WRT m'lacha? I think there is a dispute between Rava and Abaye about this and that although we follow Abaye the rishonim discuss whether the comparison between the two realms of halacha actually constitutes and equivalency or not. – WAF Aug 15 '14 at 13:02
  • @WAF +1, for even rav moshe who holds that disposable keilim are not keilim, still holds that opening bottles on shabbos (ie. soda bottle, etc.) is assur because your making a kli (ie. the cap, which is of course disposable) – Shoel U'Meishiv Dec 15 '14 at 11:01

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